Summer is in full force here in Southern Vermont. This July has been much warmer compared to the last and I cannot be happier about that. Though I am not a big sit-under-the-sun-all-day-long kind of person, I have been enjoying the warm temperatures in the shade.
I don’t know about you, but when it is this warm outside I prefer not to cook anything in the kitchen. Instead, as any smart wife would do, I pass the cooking responsibilities to my husband and encourage him to roll up his sleeves and sharpen his grilling skills outside. Lucky for me, he is always game when it comes to tending the meat (or vegetables) with a pair of tongs on one hand and a cold beer on the other.
I love the ease of a simple grilled chicken, steak, or even vegetable dish served with a big bowl of salad and a cold beverage. Lately, we are also cooking a lot of Mexican food (such as tacos and enchiladas), because they are super convenient, filling, and truth be told, we always need an excuse to eat more guacamole.
But lately, in addition to our usual – big bowl of guac-, I am also making this healthy black bean and corn salad so I thought I would share the recipe with you.
Now before you think, “why would she even share this stupid-easy salad recipe?”, please know that I agree with you. I thought so too.
However, I promise my version of Black Bean Corn Salad is different than what you will currently find in the wild wild web.
Intrigued? Read on…
How To Make Black Bean and Corn Salad Recipe
The Black Bean Tomato Corn Salad recipe has two folds:
- Make The Dressing: Place freshly squeezed lime juice with olive oil, garlic, pickled jalapeno juice (from the jar, and salt and pepper in a mason jar, tighten the lid and give it a good shake.
- Prep the Salad Ingredients: To save on time, I opted for using canned black beans, but you can always cook your own. If you follow in my footsteps and use canned beans, be sure to give it a good rinse.
The rest is the suspected ingredients in any corn and bean salad (with one exception); Shucked fresh corn (can also be grilled), chopped red onion, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and the exception I mentioned earlier, pickled jalapeños (more on that below.)
As you can see in the pictures, the end result is a visually pleasing confetti-like bean salad.
The Secret Ingredient For The Best Mexican Corn and Black Bean Salad:
Okay, I know it is quite a bold statement to call this bean corn salad “the best” but hear me out.
I think what makes my version of Black Bean and Corn Salad recipe so good (and better than any other recipe) is using pickled jalapeños instead of fresh ones. I find that pickled jalapeños give the overall salad a surprising salty and spicy kick taking it to the next level.
I also add a few tablespoons of the pickle juice to the dressing to spread the salty and spicy flavor profile throughout the whole salad. You just can’t miss this step. I promise it is worth it.
With that being said, if you are not a fan of spicy pickled jalapeños (or serving this to kiddos), you can always buy not-so spicy jarred jalapeños. Luckily nowadays, most supermarkets sell pickled jalapeños in different levels of spiciness.
I am not a huge fan of candy jalapenos, but if you are a fan you can also use them in this black bean salad. It would be a sweet and salty salad more so than salty and spicy, but hey it is your salad. Go for whatever flavor makes your heart beat faster.
What Kind of Corn Should I Use?
Depending on the time of the year, you can play around with the way you cook your corn to make this salad.
Below are a few ways I change it up based on the season:
- Fresh Corn: During the summertime, I always use sweet corn. I don’t mind serving it right off the cob, fresh, but if you prefer it cooked you can lightly sautee it on the stovetop with a little bit of oil.
- Boiled: If you have time to boil your corn, I’d say this bean salad is the best place to put it to good use.
- Grilled Corn: I think lightly charred grilled corn is truly the best way to cook corn. And if you want to take this corn and bean salad recipe to a whole other level brush your corn with some butter while it is cooking on the grill.
Alternatively, you can roast your corn on a grill pan on the stovetop, especially if the weather conditions are not conducive to grill outside.
- Canned Corn: If you are short on time or corn is not in season, feel free to use canned corn. If you do so, be sure to rinse it well before you add it to the salad.
- Frozen Corn: You can make this salad with frozen corn as well. However, be sure to thaw it before you add it in.
Can I Make This Black Bean Corn Salad in Advance?
Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to do that. I usually make it a day in advance and keep it in the fridge covered with stretch film. The time spent chilling allows all ingredients to mingle and build more in-depth flavors.
What To Do With The Leftovers?
I doubt that you will have leftovers, but if you do just place your salad in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will still be very good the next day.
Want to enjoy it for lunch the next day? While I usually serve this black bean vegetable salad as a side dish, if I am serving it the next day, I turn it into a delicious and filling lunch by adding a cup of quinoa or brown rice.
How Many Calories is A Serving?
This corn black bean salad recipe serves 4-6 people and each serving is around 209 calories. You can see the breakdown of the nutritional data in the recipe card below.
Whether you are serving it as a side dish for a picnic, BBQ party, or for yourself by itself for lunch, I hope this healthy black bean salad recipe will wow your friends and family and have them ask for more.
Want More Black Bean Recipes?
- Black Bean and Quinoa Tacos
- Five Bean Salad
- Texas Caviar
- Mexican Quinoa Recipe
- Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- Vegan Chili Recipe
- Cuban Black Beans and Rice – Well Plated
- Healthy Baked Tilapia with Black Bean Salsa – Give Recipe
Black Bean and Corn Salad
For The Garlicky Lime Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 or 2 tablespoons jalapeno pickle juice optional
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For The Salad:
- 2 cans 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 ears of corn* shucked (or 1 8.5 oz. can Whole Kernel Corn)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved or sliced
- ¼ cup colorful bell peppers chopped
- 1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion approximately ½ medium-size red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Corn chips to serve with optional
- To make the dressing: Place all the ingredients in a mason jar, put the lid on and give it a good shake. Set aside. (You can make this salad a two days in advance and keep it in the jar in the fridge)
- To make the salad: Place all salad ingredients in a bowl (like I did in the photo above), drizzle with the dressing and give it a gentle toss.
- Taste for seasoning and add in if necessary. Serve.
- Can I make this salad in advance? Yes, you can. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to do that. I usually make it a day in advance and keep it in the fridge covered with stretch film. The time spent chilling allows all ingredients to mingle and build more in-depth flavors.
- How To Keep leftovers? I doubt that you will have leftovers, but if you do just place your salad in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge. It will still be very good the next day.
- *Corn: You can use any type of corn you like. I shucked 2 ears of corn raw as during the summer months when corn is in season I like them raw. However, if you want you can lightly sauté it as well. If your grill is on, feel free to grill your corn after spreading it with some oil (both butter and olive oil would work). Otherwise, you can also use a can of corn. If you do so, drain and give it a good rinse before you add it in your salad as canned corn is usually packed with a lot of salt.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @foolproofliving on Instagram and hashtag it #foolproofeats
This post was originally published in July 2019. It was updated in May 2020 with additional helpful information and with no changes to the original recipe.